Finally we publish the 3rd part of our series „10 essentials for mobile commerce“. The last part focuses on the importance of usability and user experience as well as speed and security.
7. Usability is even more important on smaller screens
The usability of your online shop has a huge impact on the success of your business strategy. The smaller screens of smartphones and tablets turn the importance of usability friendly design even higher. There are a few basic principals which should be considered: Use a consistent design throughout the app. Make buttons big enough for touchscreens and use icons or images to make it more clear. Facilitate the navigation through different categories with a “Back”-button. Use intuitive gestures for multitouch-devices such as swiping to let customers navigate through articles. Make use of the accelerometer to show bigger images of articles in the landscape view. There are surely many more ways to optimize the usability of smartphone apps – keep always in your mind, that usability is crucial!
8. Be as secure as you could be
There is a very recent study of Forrester, which says, amongst other things, that many people have problems with entering their sensitive data in the tiny smartphone text boxes. For retailers this has two implications. First of all, be as secure as you could be in your app. Offer the possibility to pay via PayPal or other payment services without entering all the sensitive data. Use SSL or other security methods and communicate this fact to your customer. Show your credibility by implementing the Trusted Shops seal in your app. Second implication is, that you have to practice educational work that mobile commerce isn’t at all unsecure and that all data lays on secure servers and so on. Explain your customer why she or he hasn’t to be afraid of purchasing your products on the smartphone and on the tablet.
9. Create a seamless user experience
Seamless user experience – what an expression. Sounds very complicated, but is in fact very banal. Create corporate identity guidelines which are consistent over all touchpoints with your customer. Print, ads, mobile, online shop, brick and mortar store and all other touchpoints with your customer should reflect the brand. Especially the recognition value of the mobile and the online shop has to be very high. Point 3 (in part 1 of our series) also counts onto the account of a seamless user experience. If there are cuts between different touchpoints it’s not seamless. To account for the fact that many people inform mobile and purchase articles in the online shop, you have to implement a basket which is persistent on all devices. Or, if this is too expensive/complicated, you may implement a possibility to email the basket and/or to create a link to the basket with all the products in it. This way you’ll facilitate your customer the change of the touchpoint and thus increase the possibility that this customer is buying. And remember, it doesn’t matter which touchpoint does which part during the customer journey, important is only that she or he completes the order!
10. Speed is the key to conversion
When we visit an online shop we expect instant loading of the sites, if the different sites are not loading as expected, we leave the website and the turnover for the retailer is gone. That’s exactly the same with mobile apps. And there is also a tiny little point why native apps are better than mobile optimized templates. Native apps are faster and exploit the hardware of the smartphone in an optimal way. So keep in mind that speed is the key to conversion.